Photo: Fire at Coupang's logistics center in Gyeonggi-do Province. Credit: Gyeonggi Ilbo.
A fire broke out on June 17 at a warehouse for Coupang, a leading online retailer, and burned for six days, completely destroying thea four-story logistics building located in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do Province 경기도 이천 and killing one firefighter.
The fire was so large that the ashes from the fire damaged the crops of the town, which is renowned for its high-quality rice. Police investigation revealed that the fire safety team for Coupang 쿠팡, a leading online retailer, shut down the fire alarm six times in the early stages of the fire, delaying sprinkler activation and firefighter response.
The fire is the latest hit in Coupang’s troubled public relations, as the company’s “Rocket Delivery” 로켓배송 is causing the package sorters working in its logistics center to die from exhaustion; five died in Coupang’s logistics centers last year. (See previous coverage, “Outsourcing Death.”) Democratic Party 민주당 lawmakers urged Coupang to improve its labor conditions that compel its workers to engage in more than 12.5 hour of physical labor per day, an especially harsh task in logistics centers with no air conditioning while the summer heat wave is raging.